How To Maximize Cost Savings and Make the Most of an Airport Ground Support Equipment Fleet

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Operating, maintaining and repairing an airport ground support equipment (GSE) fleet can be expensive. But by streamlining and maximizing the efficiency of ground handling equipment, you can increase cost savings and truly make the most of your GSE fleet. Airlines, ground handling companies and GSE maintenance facilities are seeking out innovative ways to reduce costs without compromising their operational capabilities. Today, we're sharing some strategic ways you can curb costs and get the most out of your airport GSE.

1. Use Fleet Telematics

GSE fleet telematics and management programs, like EBis Aviation Software, provide critical operational intel, as well as proprietary data, so you know exactly what is going on with your GSE airport fleet at all times. Telematics software provides the ability to see the actions of GSE operators, as well as a complete history of the vehicle, allowing you to easily make improvements to ground support operations, including idle times and fuel efficiency. This will maximize productivity and fuel budgets while minimizing overall downtime.

2. Improve Training of GSE Maintenance Personnel

With the pool of applicable candidates with extensive GSE knowledge dwindling, it's never been more important to instill proper training for your workforce. This will result in massive gains in productivity and reductions in costs. By putting regular training in place, technicians and operators will know how to easily troubleshoot problems, avoiding expensive breakdowns before they happen. Maintenance personnel should also be trained to identify and replace GSE parts in order to keep ground handling equipment running in peak condition longer.

3. Put Proactive Maintenance Plans in Place

In the past, we've talked extensively about the importance of being proactive and putting regular ground support equipment maintenance plans in place. This not only prevents costly downtime but can also help to extend the usable lifespan of your GSE fleet.

You should schedule regular maintenance, as well as daily GSE checks in order to avoid unexpected, last-minute servicing and costly repairs. Create a thorough maintenance calendar that is based on the actual needs of your airport GSE fleet (including working hours, repair/maintenance history and performance). Check out The Advantages of Having Ground Support Equipment Maintenance Plans in Place to learn more.

4. Streamline Parts Procurement

An often-overlooked aspect of maintaining GSE, equipment support components and servicing carts is parts procurement. Did you know that dealing with many different parts suppliers can actually negatively affect your bottom line? To correct this, attempt to streamline. Purchase GSE replacement parts from a single supplier who can offer all the parts you need at a cost-effective rate. By streamlining parts procurement, you will reap the following benefits:

  • Reduction of transactions and administrative costs
  • Elimination of the need for last-minute, costly rushed parts shipping.
  • Less time and money spent on deciphering product specs from various suppliers
  • Clear parts and brand standardization
  • Reliable partnership with a supplier who maintains a large inventory of parts for any GSE make or model

5. Examine Your Storeroom Organization and Process Control

Take some time to really look at your airport GSE operation as a whole; you just might uncover some ways to save based solely on how your processes work and how you store ground handling equipment replacement parts. Take a look at the following to identify additional ways to improve your bottom line and overall business model:

  • The rate at which you fill airport ground support equipment parts orders
  • If the stocking levels in your parts storeroom match the requirements of your current airport GSE fleet
  • If your storeroom staff is optimized for your current GSE operation

6. Set Up Regular, Specialized Preventative Maintenance

We all know that when ground handling equipment is down for repairs, it is lost time and money. Because of this, it's crucial to increase the effective serviceability of each piece of aircraft ground support equipment within your fleet. Some parts suppliers offer lifetime extension programs, which can help to identify GSE failure rates as well as causes. These programs typically also provide recommendations for timely replacement of critical components.

7. Incorporate Efficient GSE into Your Fleet

Choosing the right airport ground support equipment should only happen after extensive and thorough research and consideration. Converting to an all-electric GSE fleet is good for the environment and a fantastic way to maximize cost savings. But we know that switching your entire GSE fleet to electric is a big investment. Instead, start by incorporating a few efficient towbarless tugs, as well as electric cargo Bobtail tractors and aircraft tugs into your current fleet. This can easily save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per month in fuel budget savings.

And by using efficient airport ground support equipment, you will have a little breathing room to invest your budget into other cost-saving technologies, like fleet telematics. If you currently have telematics in place, you can glean a great deal of data to help you make the right decision in terms of choosing the best ground handling equipment to save you money and improve efficiency. Keep in mind that diesel-powered GSE may prove more efficient in some environments, whereas electric may be more efficient in others.


Remember that before making any important decisions regarding your airport GSE, equipment maintenance plans or telematics, you'll want to take a big picture view of your current ground handling operations. This will make identifying costs, saving strategies and methods to improve efficiency that much easier.

Improve Your Airport Ground Support Equipment Fleet with the Help of Eagle Tugs

Looking to update or streamline your airport GSE fleet? At Eagle Tugs, we're proud to provide our customers with innovative airport ground support equipment that is efficient, durable and reliable. As one of the leading airport ground support equipment manufacturers, we can create a custom solution for your unique needs to help you maximize your cost savings the right way. Reach out today to learn more about our unparalleled selection of ground handling equipment and more.

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